Interpreting Your Own Dreams 3: Playing with Time
One of the activities I often do when I do a dream meeting is to place out a number of virtue cards on a table where each person chooses the one that is most needed in their life right now such as courage, honesty, determination, love, joy, or patience to name a few. I always have 2 patience cards and it is very rare that both of them are not taken and others in the group having thought that they wanted to pick patience as well.
Why is patience so necessary and why is so non-prevalent in places where the western materialism has taken root?
The other day I crossed over the border from Canada into the United States in the state of Washington and immediately the pressure on time became magnified. I never thought that time was much more pronounced in the US than in Canada, but the great symbol in the northwest of the US is the number of drive thru coffee stands ready to give you a double shot of espresso while you rush to where you are going. As I allowed myself to partake in this cultural phenomenon because of the love of coffee I thought to myself that I better slow myself down inside that there is no real difference between getting to a destination 5 to 10 minutes earlier, but everywhere I went that weekend the rationale for not doing things for everyone I met had some relationship with time. Americans are in a hurry and get upset if they have to wait in line.
This made me start to play with time in a new way. Here are a few thoughts. The reason I am writing them is because dream time is much different that clock time as I will explain later such as when you dream of something before it actually happens in the physical world. I thought that Americans, who are supposed to be the most advanced culture in the world because of their economic might have really gone crazy over the clock.
I guess it is no surprise to me that the first culture that I landed in when I left the US in 1983 was the aboriginal culture of Canada who have a whole different way of viewing time than industrialized consumer based cultures. I was really forced to question my issues around time when I landed in Brazil some 15 years later. Now that I am in Malaysia my clock has been altered once again.
Since patience is the virtue most people want to have more of, it seems like a great place to begin the exploration of time. Patience is the virtue of being able slow down time or stop time so that something else can happen first. Impatience is the inability to allow other things to happen first before our greedy needs are met. It is how we have, as a world culture, managed to destroy the environment and why development projects in the third world don’t work.
The way I hear impatience being said to me, since I work in the area of physical education, is that of not having time to play or exercise. People most often say that they don’t have time to play because they have too much work to do which they rush through and then throw themselves on their couches in exhaustion.
When you lack patience, it means that you are rushing through a task so that you can get to an end that will give you something positive. Managers want you to work really quickly so that you can get a product out which will give them more money that will make them happier. It is all pretty simple. To discover impatience you just have to follow the money trail especially the greedy money trail. When we are impatient, we are trying to get to an end faster so that we will get some kind of reward.
If you have patience, it means that you can slow down time to a standstill so that the spiritual energy can be placed right in the midst of all of your activity. The American energy is very telling. You rush to work, buy coffee in a drive-thru to get you to rush more, so that at the end of the day you can have more things that will allow to enjoy life more, the pursuit of material happiness. Rush, rush, rush. Only at the end of the day everyone is too tired from rushing all day to enjoy their things.
If you can play with time, that is to realize that it can speed up or slow down or even not exist, then the joy and happiness can be placed right in the midst of what you are doing. Patience is the ability to slow down the material life so that positive energy can be placed in the midst of what you are doing. The illusion of the clock is that people think it is ticking, when in reality the space between the ticks is diminished for them. Slowing down time means increasing the space between the ticks.
If you feel rushed in your life, realize that time is a construct and is flexible and realize that the end you are rushing for is in the middle somewhere, not at the end. Instead of rushing to finish the dishes so that you can relax, start relaxing and enjoying the dishes or even leaving them for awhile.